Grady Tripp
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Grady Tripp

Wonder Boys

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About Him

Living… in a little hovel in Pittsburgh, not unlike his former grad school digs. Despite his literary prominence, Grady still lives like a student. He wears his dirty bathrobe all day, smokes pre-rolled joints in his car, and generally loafs around until it’s time to teach his class.

Profession… a novelist, at least technically. But Grady makes most of his money from his teaching gig. Professor Tripp, as his students call him, hasn’t published anything since his widely praised first novel, The Arsonist’s Daughter. Still, some of Grady’s students have promise, especially the enigmatic James Leer.

Interests… marijuana. Aside from writing, Grady specializes in herbal relaxation. As he explains to a student, “Shocking as it may sound, I am not the first writer to sip a little weed. Furthermore, it might surprise you to know that one book I wrote, as you say, ‘under the influence,’ just happened to win a little something called the PEN Award. Which, by the way, I accepted under the influence.”

Relationship Status… involved with the university chancellor. Grady, who already has three ex-wives under his belt, is trying something new: an affair with his friend’s (and boss’s) wife, Dr. Sara Gaskell. To complicate things even further, she’s pregnant with his child.

Challenge… finishing his novel. At a staggering 2,611 pages, Grady’s latest effort is long, long, long overdue. His editor, down from New York for the weekend, is getting testy, and if he doesn’t publish anything soon he’s bound to be forgotten.

Personality… cantankerous, tweedy, and a bit lazy. In recent years, Grady’s proven a lot better at talking about fiction than he’s been at writing it. He spends most of his time stoned; it’s the only way he can get through a day of teaching creative writing. Maybe the fact that Sara is pregnant will finally be the spur Grady needs to get out of his rut and start living life again, though that would necessitate taking on difficult facts head-on, which hasn’t been Grady’s style.

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